Al-Cartoccio cooking: Paccheri & Calamari

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Al-Cartoccio Cooking is a style that combines the benefits of the backing and steaming cooking method. This style preserves the aromas and the flavours of the food which could be fish or seafood, or like in this case: Pasta!

I Paccheri with Calamari al-cartoccio are a classic of the Partenopea cuisine.

Paccheri & Calamri Al-cartoccio.

This recipe is a classic all around the Campania cost-line- Amalfi, Salerno, Sorrento, Napoli. The smells and the aromas remind you of the Mediterranean sea. The colour and the presentation are a delight for the sight.

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

The perfect shape of the pasta to be used is the Calamarata. This pasta looks like acalamri ring. But if you cannot find it you can use Paccheri pasta. ( we bought them at Market Europa in Moorabbin).

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Now, let me tell you this story about the Paccheri. The word itself could refer to the pasta but also to the slaps ( we will explain just keep reading)! The word Paccheri is used a lot in the Neapolitan dialect but it has origin in the Greek language. It comes from the word “Pas” wich means all and “cheir” which means hands.

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

And that’s what a Pacchero is: a full hand slap! So be careful if they ask you “vuoi due paccheri?” ( You want some paccheri). My mum used to tell me that, and if she said that when I was not at the table, it was not food that she was offering to me!

What do you need for this recipe? Easy!

  • 500gr of Paccheri pasta (we used De Cecco)
  • 600gr of Calamari
  • 300gr of Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • parsley
  • 50 ml white wine (a dry one)
  • 25 gr of tomato paste
  •  salt & pepper
  • e.v.o oil
  • baking paper
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

First of all start to boil the water. It always takes time. Oh, don’t put the salt in the water before it starts to boil. Why? Trust us, we are Italian, we take pasta seriously. Now don’t be fancy, you have to clean the clamari. Remove all the guts, the bone in the head, eyes and the theet. C’mon! I know you can do it.

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Cut the calamari head in rings of 1 cm and the tentacles in small pieces.

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

In a pan add 4 spoons of e.v.o oil. Chop the garlic and chilli finely and shallow fry them in the pan. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the calamri rings and tentacles in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Have a sip of wine, just to be sure that it’s dry enough. Now add some wine in the pan and let it simmer.  Stop drinking!

Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Add the tomato paste and the cherry tomatoes. Adjust with salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 10-12 min. Add some chopped parsley.

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Meanwhile, I said stop drinking, cut off 4 rectangular pieces of papaer from the backing paper (30 cm length). Cook the pasta but drain it at half cooking. We are finishing the cooking in the oven.

Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Put the pasta in the pan and add some of the boiling water. Let it cook just enough to absorb the aroma and flavor of the sauce. Place the pasta in the center of the rectangular backing paper. Fold the paper and close it on the top, then roll the sides and make it look like candy.

Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio

Place the cartocci on a backing tray and cook it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 8-10min.

Take out the candies and serve them! “Li vuoi due paccheri?”

Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri & Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio
Paccheri& Calamari Al-Cartoccio

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